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FedEx Reviews PR Duties After 20 Years With Ketchum
Aarti Shah
Holmes Report
COO & Senior Editor

FedEx Reviews PR Duties After 20 Years With Ketchum

Incumbent Ketchum defends storied 20-year relationship.

Aarti Shah

FedEx Reviews PR Duties After 20 Years With Ketchum

MEMPHIS, TN — FedEx is reviewing global PR duties, with longtime agency partner Ketchum among the several agencies vying for the sizable business. 

"We can confirm that FedEx made the strategic decision to review its public relations agency business," Patrick Fitzgerald, SVP of integrated marketing and communications at FedEx, told the Holmes Report.

The RFP, excerpts of which the Holmes Report has seen, calls for "a world-class global communications firm to tell the FedEx story in traditional and digital media across the spectrum of earned, shared and owned media channels." 

"We're seeking an organization of expert communications practitioners to help us better respond to the changing competitive landscape of the shipping and logistics industry," reads the RFP. "Together, we'll develop and place compelling stories that differentiate us from our competitors in both B/B and in consumer markets."

The selected agency requires significant corporate experience, global reach and digital skills, and will be expected to collaborate with FedEx's integrated marketing and communications teams to execute programs that "inspire people to choose us, that build and protect our reputation, and that resonate with new and existing audiences." 

The brief includes: thought-leadership and corporate citizenship; e-commerce and innovation; environmental and sustainability; products and services, retail and B/B; growth and profitability; public policy and network and operations excellence.  

Ketchum has handled the business for at least 20 years, FedEx confirmed, a relationship that has won several awards and set a benchmark for corporate reputation work.

"Yes, we certainly welcomed a proposal from Ketchum during our review process," confirmed Fitzgerald. "Ketchum has been instrumental in driving awareness for our brand for several years."

Ketchum did not respond to request for comment. 

In late 2012, longtime FedEx communications head Bill Margaritis took a voluntary buy-out and the company promoted Fitzgerald to lead comms, reporting into marketing EVP Raj Subramaniam. The transition was part of a corporate restructuring in 2013 that didn't displace Ketchum as FedEx's primary PR agency partner.

In addition to Ketchum, FedEx works with other agencies across EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

FedEx  — a $46-billion company — is scheduled to announce its third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Wednesday with analysts predicting a rise in earnings.

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Ketchum FedEx Accounts News
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